Tag Archives: travelogue

Waltzing Matilda at Uluru

This post is part of the April 2015 A to Z Challenge. Find the challengers via the Blog Sign-Up or on Twitter using #AtoZChallenge.

You may have heard Australia’s unofficial anthem, Waltzing Matilda. In it, “a jolly swagman camps by a billabong, under the shade of a coolibah tree.” But to fully understand the lyrics, you need to know the lingo.

A swag is a traditional Australian sleeping bag. They are rolled up and carried on your back during the day. These days, they are sturdy things made of canvas, and some even have a bit of padding on one side to act as a mattress. A swagman therefore, is a traveller or worker who is camping out in one of these swags. A billabong is a waterhole and coolibah is a type of eucalyptus.  Matilda is the nickname the men gave their swags.

Now imagine camping out in the vast Outback of Australia, where there’s no light pollution, sleeping underneath millions of stars in the shadow of Uluru (Ayers Rock). Sounds amazing, right?

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Following Hemingway through Havana

This post is part of the April 2015 A to Z Challenge. Find the challengers via the Blog Sign-Up or on Twitter using #AtoZChallenge

Havana is the Grand Old Dame of the Caribbean. She comes across all regal with her baroque and neoclassical architecture, but when you get to know her a little, you’ll notice she’s colourful like her history, dances a mean Salsa, can hold her liquor and smokes cigars like nobody’s business.

The old part of town, La Habana Vieja, is still full of life. There are buskers at every corner (although you may want to request something that is neither “La Guantanamera” nor “Hasta siempre, comandante,” as they seem to be the “go-to songs” everyone knows), artisan markets and (salsa) bars. But it also has wide open parks and narrow streets to get lost in.

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